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Free Them Vultures


Them Crooked Vultures formed in Los Angeles this year. This band has got quite a lineup: drummer Dave Grohl, vocalist and guitarist Josh Homme, and bassist and keyboardist John Paul Jones. It's a new band that runs an official site that is really nothing more than a jumping off point to a place where fans can congregate. The band plays the dozen or so small dub shows in North America, Europe, and Australia. Tickets are scalped for big bucks. The forums are abuzz. The YouTube videos are smoking. There are a bunch of tweets and blog posts. Sure beats what everyone knows is the way to launch a band. And it sure beats the worn out path that you're likely taking to launch your products too.

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									after thought                                                                                                               DAVID MEERMAN SCOTT

                                                                               band’s YouTube channel, but again, Them Crooked Vultures has
                                                                               taken a highly unconventional approach. The channel offers a

    Free Them                                                                  few videos produced by the band, including some studio
                                                                               rehearsals, but the majority are amateur videos shot at the band’s
                                                                               live shows.

    Vultures                                                                      Remember, this is a band that does not yet have an album. You
                                                                               can’t buy the music. Yet instead of crying “copyright
                                                                               infringement” and calling the lawyers to get YouTube to remove
                                                                               the clips, the band encourages fan videos of its original and
                                                                               unreleased songs, and it even put the best ones on the official
           am constantly fascinated by how the world of online content         YouTube channel.

    i      and social media allows organizations of all types to
           communicate effectively. It doesn’t matter what industry
     you’re in—B2B information, consumer ecommerce, music,
                                                                                  Damn—I love it. The traditional major label guys must be
                                                                               going into convulsions at what is completely foreign to their way
                                                                               of thinking.
     nonprofit, or government—we can all learn from the smart                     As people enjoyed the videos, the band announced a small
     marketing happening all around us.                                        number of additional club dates in the fall in North America and
        But how about a product launch? Well, let’s look at rock bands.        Europe. When tickets went on sale, they sold out in, like, 2
     Everyone knows the rules: You spend months in the studio cutting          seconds. (Yes, I scored a pair for the Boston gig and will take my
     a killer album with a major record label. You set a release date and,     daughter to the all-ages club).
     prior to release, you get your friends in the rock media (such as            While I was in Australia in September, there were rumors
     Rolling Stone magazine) to review it. Your management company             flying around about some dates Down Under. Clues were a
     and label figure out what single to release, and you get radio airplay    cryptic rock poster titled “Follow What’s Heard” with a URL that
     and do a music video. After the record has been out for a few             led to a countdown clock. Savvy fans figured out what it likely
     months, you do a multicity tour based on
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